Aaron Blabey is a well-known award-winning Australian actor who has starred in numerous Australian television series, including Stingers and Crashburn. He is now winning acclaim with his unique paintings that depict his life and his family. Pearl Barley and Charlie Parsley is his first picture book.
We all know that opposites attract and this is a story about two characters who, in spite of their differences, are the best of friends. Pearl Barley and Charlie Parsley are different in every way-Pearl is exuberant, enthusiastic and outgoing, while Charlie is quiet, shy and introspective. Pearl runs amok in her underwear and Charlie sits and thinks. It is not so much a story, as a comparison of the two characters. The two are of indeterminate age, sometimes seeming quite childlike and at others almost adult, especially when Charlie, in his pyjamas, brings Pearl warm milk in bed, with his ‘lovely bedside manner.’ However, their various opposite attributes seem to complement each other and a feeling of happiness in each other’s company and the value of good friendship prevails. The text is short, simple and effective, but it is the acrylic and mixed-media illustrations which boldly carry the theme in this well-designed and produced book. As this is Aaron Blabey’s first children’s picture book I can’t resist asking if there will be a sequel in which Pearl and Charlie get into a stew with their friends Lara Lamb and Ollie Onion! Margaret Hamilton is a former children’s publisher. She now provides freelance publishing services and reviews
* "Splendid visual treatment. . . .Make sure to note Charlie's wonderfully expressive eyebrows; they, like this book, stand out." --Kirkus Reviews, starred review